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Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Mom's Oven --- Bitter Melon Pickles


Bitter melons may not be a well-liked vegetable to eat by other people because of its bitter taste, but its health benefits are very amazing. But I suppose not everybody knows this kind of vegetable because this is an Asian tropical vegetable.  I never thought this will also grow here in the United States.  Since I have so much harvests of this vegetable,  I made this kind of recipe which maybe new to others.  I tried making it first in a small amount and turned out to be as good as sweet pickle relish.  This can be served with fried fish, chicken, or any other meat. The longer it aged, the better it tastes.


BITTER MELON PLANTS




The bitter melons also belong to the Cucurbitaceae family.  They are an *excellent source of antioxidants nutrients,  Vitamins A, C, and folates.  They are also a good source of niacin (Vitamin B-3), pantothenic acid (Vitamin B-5), pyridoxine (Vitamin B-6), and minerals such as iron, zinc, potassium, manganese, and magnesium.  They also contain phytonutrients which are responsible for lowering blood sugar levels and helping in the treatment of type 2 diabetes.  

Harvest this vegetable when they have big bumpy ridges and the color being light green.  Don’t harvest them when they turn yellow for they are already overripe.  


Please see about planting other vegetables and trees - The Garden (2012) and The Garden (2013).






BITTER MELON PICKLES

  
Ingredients:
3 lbs  bitter melon
2 pc   carrots
3 c     granulated sugar
3 c     distilled white vinegar
2 c     water
3 pc   whole cloves
1 pc   onion medium, chopped
30 g   ginger
3 tsp  salt
 
Preparation Time:  approximately 2 hours

Cooking Time:  25 minutes (plain cooking)
                            10 minutes (canning)
Instructions:
1.Wash the bitter melon and other vegetables with fruit and vegetable wash.  Scrub, if possible, to remove the dirt in between the ridges of the bitter melon under running water or rinse thoroughly.  Cut into half and scrape off the seeds of the bitter melon.  Cut vertically into big size and set them aside.

2. Make a creative carrot slicing. Run the knife through the carrots to make a straight line with equal spacing 6 times on its top first forming a flower shape pattern as shown in picture (a) below.  Afterwards, run the knife through the lines downward to its end to make a slight deep cut as shown in picture (b).  Reserve the thin slices for your salad recipe. Lastly, make thin slices of the flower-shaped carrots as shown in picture (c).




Creative Carrot Slicing (a)


Creative Carrot Slicing (b)


Creative Carrot Slicing (c)

3. Do the same procedure for the ginger as shown below.  Chopped
    the thin slices of ginger and include them in the cooking later.  


Creative Ginger Slicing


4.    Remove the skin of the garlic, but don’t chop them.  Cut and 
       chopped the onions.  Set them aside.

5.    Drain the bitter melons and process them using the fine slice
       disc.  Soak them in cold water again to wash off its juice and
       then twist a handful of bitter melon with your bare hands to
       drain the water till you finish them.  Do the same procedure of
       washing twice to remove its bitter taste.  Set them aside.

6.    Heat the pan and pour water. Mix in the sugar and stir to
       dissolve first.  Add the vinegar, salt, garlic, ginger, and onions.
       Bring it to a boil for 15 minutes.

7.    Mix in the bitter melons and carrots. Stir and simmer for
       another 10 minutes.  Remove from heat.

8.    Ladle the hot mixture and liquid into hot jars, leaving ¼-inch
       headspace.  Adjust two-piece caps. Process pints 10 minutes in
       boiling-water canner or steam-pressure canner.  Let them cool.

9.    Check the lids if they are well sealed or not. Press the center of
       each lid. If the center is pulled down and does not flex, and
       you can not lift the lid off, then they have a good vacuum seal. 

10.  Before storing them, remove the bands and wipe the lids and
       entire surface of the jar with clean, damp cloth or paper towel
       to remove any food residue.  Label and write the date on top of
       the lids.  Keep in a cool, dry, dark place. 

Yield – 5 pints

Please see my other canning recipes:
     Garden Blend Salsa                    
     How to Make Fig Jam                
     SeasonedTomato Sauce             



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"Cooking doesn’t only involve knowing what and how to cook and prepare  all the ingredients, but also how much you love to cook for somebody ."  

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